The Middle East Newsline reports, based on accounts from highly placed sources in Israel’s intelligence community, Hamas likely will deploy missiles and rockets capable of striking the commercial center of the Jewish state.

Israeli military sources confirm that the intelligence community has acquired or would soon procure Iranian-origin missiles and rockets that could strike Tel Aviv. Hamas received its first shipment of the Fajr-4 rocket, with a range of at least 55 miles..

“Hamas has been bolstering its strategic capability and they have missiles that can hit major cities,” a military source said.

Hamas has acquired Fajr-3 and Fajr-4 rockets from Tehran in mid to late 2008. The Fajr-3 has a range of 27 miles and the Fajr-4 can travel 43.5 miles. Both were used by Hezbollah in its 2006 war with Israel.

Hamas has sought the Fajr-3 and Fajr-4 to strike military bases and strategic facilities in southern and central Israel. The sources cited Tel Aviv, 40 miles from the Gaza Strip, and the nuclear reactor in Dimona, about 50 miles away.

The Fajr-4 is a 220 mm rocket that carries a warhead of up to 154 lbs.

Israel’s military has sought to kill commanders of Hamas missile squads. Thus far, virtually every city in southern and central Israel has been alerted to the prospect of a Hamas missile attack. Officials said Tel Aviv, Rehovot and Rishon LeZion have been warning residents to prepare shelters in case of an attack.

“We cannot ignore the fact that the rocket firing has reached cities close to Tel Aviv, such as Yavne and Ashkelon,” Moshe Tiemkin, chairman of the civil defense committee in the Tel Aviv municipality, said. “We must be prepared and ready.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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